How to receive money with MoneyGram: fees, rates and alternatives

Zorica Lončar

Expecting a payment from overseas? There are lots of ways to send and receive money across international borders, including using your bank.

But increasingly, online money transfer solutions like MoneyGram are becoming more popular. The US-based service is fast, convenient and has a huge global reach, as you can send money to 200+ countries and territories from the UK. There’s also a choice of delivery/collection methods, with the option for cash pickup in over 380,000 locations worldwide.¹

If someone wants to send you a payment through MoneyGram and it’s your first time using it, read on.

We’ve put together a handy guide on how to receive money with MoneyGram, covering everything you need to know. This includes delivery methods, what details you need to provide and any fees you’ll need to pay.

Plus, a quick look at alternatives such as Wise which could potentially save you and your sender some money.

How to receive money with MoneyGram - delivery methods

MoneyGram offers a few different options when it comes to receiving your money. This includes:²

  • Direct deposit to your bank account
  • Cash pickup - find your nearest agent location in the UK here.
  • Sending to your debit card (only in select countries)
  • Sending to your mobile wallet account (only in select countries)
  • Cash home delivery (only in select countries).

With so many ways to receive your money, you should be able to find the most convenient option for you. You simply need to tell your recipient your preference, if it’s available where you are.

What details do you need to provide?

To receive money with MoneyGram, you’ll need to provide your recipient with a few key details:

  • For bank transfers - your bank account number, sort code and IBAN (international bank account number) if requested.
  • For cash pickup - your preferred pickup location and your name as it appears on your government-issued ID (e.g. your passport or driving licence). This needs to match the ID you provide when you collect the cash at an agent location.³

If you’re receiving money by mobile wallet, direct to your debit card or home delivery, you’ll need to provide any additional details relevant for each method.

How to collect MoneyGram money in cash at an agent location

It’s pretty easy to collect your transfer in cash from your chosen agent location. You don’t need an appointment or to arrive at a particular time, you can simply drop in.

Just remember to take your photo ID, making sure your name is an exact match for the details provided to your sender. A passport or driving licence should do the trick.

In some cases, proof of address may be needed if your ID doesn’t include this. It could be worth taking along a recent utility bill or bank statement just in case.²

You’ll also need the reference number for the transfer, which you can get from the sender.

How soon will I receive my money?

MoneyGram is pretty fast, but the delivery speed depends on a few factors. This includes where the money is being sent from and to, the currency, payment method and chosen delivery method.

However, as a guide, MoneyGram does provide some transfer times for each delivery method. These are:²

Delivery methodTransfer time
Cash pickupAs little as 10 minutes (subject to agent opening times)
Bank account depositUp to 1 hour; Same or next day for some countries
Direct to debit cardWithin minutes
Mobile walletsWithin minutes

Are there any fees to receive money with MoneyGram?

As the recipient of a MoneyGram transfer, you shouldn’t have to pay any fees. MoneyGram does charge transfer fees, which vary depending on currency, amount and other factors, but the recipient should cover these. You can of course agree between you to split the fees, or that one person will cover all of them.

One thing it’s useful to be aware of though is the exchange rates used for currency conversion. MoneyGram adds a margin or markup to the mid-market exchange rate, also known as the interbank rate.⁴ This is known as one of the most competitive rates you can get, but it can be tricky to find.

By adding a margin to the rate, MoneyGram may make money from the transfer. But unfortunately, it also means that you receive less money once the currency has been converted.

So, it’s worth discussing other options with your sender, so that you both save money. For example, you can send money with Wise and always get the mid-market rate with no margin added on top.

Alternatives to MoneyGram

Of course, MoneyGram isn’t the only international transfer service around. There are lots of alternatives to choose from, including Western Union, Remitly, OFX and Xoom.

Whether you’re sending or receiving an international payment, it’s always worth shopping around to compare fees and rates.

For consistently low fees and margin-free exchange rates, Wise could be the best choice. It’s quick and easy to open a Wise multi-currency account online, and from there you can send money worldwide in just a few clicks. Note, eligibility is a subject to verification of customer’s identity.

And receiving money is a breeze - if you have a Wise account, you can even receive it for free in 10 major currencies (except US wire transfers, which have a small fixed fee).

There’s also the handy Wise app for managing and tracking transfers on the move.

Join Wise today

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

After reading this, you should be all clued up on how to receive money with MoneyGram. As the recipient, there isn’t much for you to do but provide your details and preferred delivery method.

It’s great to know that MoneyGram transfers are typically quite fast, so you won’t have to wait long to get your hands on the money. But it’s always worth keeping an eye on those exchange rates, so that your sender’s money goes further and you receive more at the other end.

Sources used:

  1. MoneyGram - About MoneyGram
  2. MoneyGram - FAQ - Receiving money
  3. MoneyGram - FAQ - Sending Money
  4. MoneyGram - UK Home

Sources last checked on date: 28-Apr-2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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